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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 14, 2013 9:00am-12:00pm EDT

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the victim in terms of potentially having, although i guess you'd say that the defense lawyer could go to her, wherever she is for interviews? >> that's correct, senator. >> well, to me once you cross the line of probable cause after a competent criminal investigation, the least disruption should occur to the victim, not to the alleged perpetrator. that certainly is the wages in the civil system at least. we are rest of them and they have to bail out and be reporting to a story, a pretrial. and/or they are held in jail. to stay away from victim. the notion that a victim and alleged perpetrator are working shoulder to shoulder during this particular period of time i think is going to impact the quality of their cases and our ability to get sound prosecution.
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houston in the process for each branch of the military do your criminal investigations -- investigators have contact with the prosecutors that would be responsible for trying the case? and if you go down the line and just tell me if you don't know, say that. if you know it's within 30 days or within a week, or if there is some requirement, a check-in immediately or maybe never, i do like substance from each branch how closely dovetailed are the investigative efforts with the advice and counsel of a prosecutor who is going to direct the evidence in trial. >> thanks, center. in the case of the coast guard, that contact is almost immediate. because of the way our reporting system works, it will come up in many cases at the same change that significant search and rescue case, those communication networks are used and cgi has as well as our attorneys at her district legal office is or our
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area legal offices are notified through the communication network immediately. >> it's about the same for the air force. it's pretty quick. when i was in that role as base level, we knew of a report within 24 hours. it will lash up with investigators is immediate. we provide them a proof analysis, a list of elements that they need. we walked hand in hand. they report back to us as the investigation is ongoing. then later, we fold in one of our senior trial counsel's, our most experienced. we have aided them that are dedicated to the prosecuting sexual assault cases. so the lash of is immediate and constant. >> we call part of our special victim capability is that special victim prosecutor and the sexual assault investigator. best practice for us to have our special prosecutor located in the cid officers. so there's that immediately ship in case coordination that is so
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critical to perfecting these cases from the outset. >> yes-men. we had in the lash as well for our prosecutors. >> it starts at day one and that our complex trial teams also have investigators embedded within the continue to work through liaison. spent thank you for your patience. i have one last question. if any of you have a good reason why this should be a different period of time that you would keep a restricted report versus and nonrestricted report. and i would like all of you, for the record, to let us know what attempts are made formally when you get a new report on an alleged perpetrator, what attempts formally are made, go back and look at reports and recontact victims on restricted reports with the news that there's been another victim and how they changed their mind. you don't need to do that now, but i want that for the record, because i know that from
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experience that when a woman knows there has been someone else victimized after her, it changes her perspective about the importance of stepping forward. and i want to make sure we have a system in place that is assessing those records quickly and getting back to the second as quick as possible, and securing their cooperation moving forward against the defendant. i know you all are trying hard, and i know even the general who made the decision. i absolutely do not think he did that maliciously or cavalierly. but i think it's time to take a hard look at whether or not the rules of the road can be adjusted, to still give the unique aspect of the military justice that deserves. i'm not saying it should be like a criminal civil division but there to do seems to be
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something to make no sense but i don't rather than getting a pushback from the military, we will get your cooperation in making some of those changes. thank you all very much. thank you, madam chairman spent thank you all for your testimony today. i'm very grateful for your determination to solve this problem. i think there's no problem the military can't solve when it puts its mind to it. so thank you for your commitments today. and thank you for working with this committee going forward. thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations] >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> i think for dolly madison what she also does is a model for government that sets stability and empathy. dolly madison is modeling this for us. she's not going to win, right? that would look to our founding generation because we needed them for role models, and her way of conducting politics, building bridges and not bunkers as a model that she has spent our conversation with historians on dolly madison is now available on our website, lady's. spent the consumer protection working group hosted a summit focusing on the latest fraud scams. frothis working group was greetd by the obama administration as part of the financial fraud enforcement task force. in a moment we'll do that about illegal lottery scams for about 50 minutes.
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>> my name is jeffrey steger and i'm an attorney, an assistant director of the consumer protection branch of the civil division of the u.s. department of justice. the consumer protection branch is responsible for civil and criminal enforcement of federal laws designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the american people. the branch actively prosecute individual and companies have committed fraud, or violated other laws and acted to protect consumers. our first panel this morning is focused on lottery and romance scams. as will be discussed, lottery scams prey on elderly and other potentially vulnerable individuals. unfortunately, scams are increasingly prevalent, and devastating to its victim. romance scams involve fraudsters to contact people by phone or over the internet, create an emotional bond, and then use the strong emotional tie to convince
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their victim to send or wire money to them. the panel of experts that we've assembled today is uniquely qualified to discuss these types of frauds and scams and educate the public how do not fall prey to these type of scams. the panel includes law enforcement, federal prosecutors and government and nonprofit leaders are dedicated to protecting individuals and consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. out get ashman i'm going to briefly introduce to them and then we'll get into the discussion. our first panel member is gregory campbell. gregory campbell is the united states postal inspector, he is the deputy chief inspector of the western field offices. he is responsible for the management of nine field divisions throughout the western united states.
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his duties include providing strategic planning, program guidance and policy interpretation for all criminal and security programs, including programs to prevent mail theft, fraud, violent crimes, and child exploitation. deputy chief campbell has earned his ph.d in management from walden university. he has a masters degree in behavioral science, and his ba in sociology from california state university. jakhar wood, who you heard from this morning, a little earlier, as the acting director -- chok harwood, the federal trade commission. chuck grigsby serve as deputy director and before that served for 20 years as the director of the ftc's northwesnorthwes t regional office in seattle where he led law enforcement efforts and consumer education efforts involving a wide variety of antitrust and consumer protection issues.
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chuck join the ftc in 1989 after six years of counsel on the u.s. senate committee and he is a graduate of william university college of law and whitman college. john brush is deputy chief of strategy and policy and the fraud section of the criminal division of the department of justice. john co-chairs international mass marketing fraud working group and chairs the national level identity theft enforcement interagency working groups. john has been work -- jonathan with the fonseca since 98 and he is a graduate of the university of virginia law school. greg tim is a trial attorney of the criminal division of the is department of justice. he specializes in the prosecution of financial institution involving fraud and money laundering. as well as financial institution that failed to maintain effective anti-money laundering
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programs or violate u.s. economic sanctions. prior to joining the asset forfeiture section, craig was in a u.s.a. in tucson, arizona. and, finally, john breyault joined, the final pounds, joined the national consumers league in september 2008. john's focus of the national consumers league is on advocating for stronger consumer protection before congress and federal agencies on issues related to telecommunications, fraud, technology and other consumers concerns. he earned his ean international relations at george mason university. i'd like to begin the discussion today by asking a question to inspector campbell. the postal inspection service has been actively involved in combating lottery fraud in
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jamaica. how is this fraud committed, and what is the inspection service doing to combat this fraud? >> [inaudible] >> yes, the inspection has been actively involved in these types of scams and investing these types of scams. since 2009, the postal inspection service has been part of a task force that was initiated by the department of homeland security, immigration, and its jamaican operations went through telemarketing as a result of that, it's a multipage task force that focuses on investigating crimes that involve advance scams or lottery scams. how these scams work is that individuals or victims, predominantly older citizens, are contacted via the internet, telephone, or the mail. and told that they've won some type of prize, an award, a car
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or lottery. and then once the individual sins, their children were to receive their winnings they need to pay a receipt, or taxi. once they do that, then it continues. it's on and on. the main thing is the big prize is always just one payment away, or one cash payment away. so that's how they operate. spin and as part of the task force, what is the postal inspection service doing to investigate and to combat this type of drug? >> we have 18 field offices across the country, and all of our offices, postal inspection service is has been working fraud scams for years. but what's happened is these scams have just become more complex, more organized, and as result of the internet with over 80% of americans using internet, it's offered at these scams an opportunity to approach and be strategic as to how many victims they go after.
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so what we're doing as part of the multi-agency task force, we are working to mess up in the united states by going after and arresting as many criminals as we can. but we are also, have agents that are working in jamaica and working with law enforcement in jamaica to provide intelligence to help them do their job better, to protect american citizens. i think that's important. it is a multifaceted approach. when you think of these type of scams, you think that is just the criminal justice issue, but it's not. it's a social services issue. it's a criminal justice issue, and it's also a consumer protection issue. we are attacking from all of those approaches. and specifically also looking at the enforcement side of it. >> and you have mentioned that the postal inspection service has some individual or individuals that are working in jamaica now. can you talk about that briefly? >> absolutely. we do have resources that are working in jamaica, but more
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importantly we are leveraging our resources. we're parting with other federal law enforcement agencies but we're using the resources that we have here domestically that have victims that are in the united states, or cases right here in the united states, and they would provide that intelligence to law enforcement officials in jamaica to help them do their job better. they are a sovereign country so they have to act -- enforce the law but what we try to do is partner with them and provide in the intelligence to help them do their job better. we work with jamaica customs. we work with the united states embassy in jamaica, and what one thing that's been very successful recently, working with the embassy is we have helped jamaica come up with laws to actually help the victims be up to testify on cases a little easier, to come up with videoconferencing and using technology to allow victims here in the united states to be able to help prosecute cases in jamaica. so that's just one way in addition to actually put
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handcuffs on people we're trying to work with the jamaican authority and law enforcement to help them do their job better and be more successful in their own country. this is not just an issue in jamaica. this is an issue for west africa, nigeria, the philippines, the uk, netherlands, canada. i've been into action all those countries, and these types of scams originate from all of those countries. >> so just one final question and then we would turn to the next panelist, but the obvious our postal facilities in every city around the country, and there are postmasters and there are clerks that help people with getting stamps and other things, including money orders. and our money orders one of the things that the fraudsters use to perpetuate the scam? and our postal employees educated to talk with people who may come in on a regular basis
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and have unusual activity where they are seeking, you know, money orders of significant amounts of money? and what happens in that type of situation? >> yes, postal money orders is one means of getting the victims to send money to these fraudsters, but they also ask are pashtun will we call green dot cars, greek it -- prepaid credit cards. we actually have in every come over 30,000 post offices around the country, we have these flyers that are out for our postal customers who come into our facility to educate them on how not to become a victim. we are also not just focusing on those elderly or potentially elderly victims. we're focusing this year during our national consumer campaigned on the caregivers, to educate caregivers on what to do when their family members, mother, grandmother, grandfather, become victims of these type of scams. so education is a key component
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and yes, money orders are a component that are sent back to jamaica and we're educating not only our employees but also educating postal customers who come to our over 3000 retail outlets. >> i would now like to turn to chuck harwood. as he was introduced before, check is the acting director of the bureau consumer protection at the ftc. chuck, i understand the ftc has a system to collect information from individuals who believe that they have been scammed or think that they been contacted by a scammer. go to talk about that system that the ftc employees, and how those comments and contacts are used to fight this type of fraud? >> thank you, jeff. i will talk briefly about resource that frankly deserved more promotion that gets it and that's the consumer -- so when i
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talked earlier i talked about the fact that unlike other crimes or law violations, consumer protection law violation and all people located throughout the world. victims throughout the world. it may be jamaica but they can also be summer else in order to perpetrators may be in jamaica, they may be fraud in people summer else in the world. the evidence is oftentimes scattered throughout the world. sometimes jamaica mantelpiece of it. sometimes summon a new extreme a little piece of it. the consumer network is -- try to bring together that information to make it possible for law enforcement agencies to more efficiently and effectively collect information, use it and consumer protection networks. this dates back power 10, 15 years now, and it's just and that, available to about, to about 2001 for the agencies
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around the world and the united states. the way it works is with consumers who get complaints about their experiences. they can do that through, an online form. they can also call us if they want to. and they would also get many, many complaints from our partner agencies. so some of the entities we get complaints were some of the people you see sitting at the. u.s. postal and service. >> affords us all to complete. cfpb which you heard marked earlier is as many complaints. one of our, going to be one of her major data give us. we get complaints from part of this apartment of justice or whatever host accounts but we also get complaints from the but is -- better business bureau's. we also get complaints from a number of other private sector and ngo organization. and, finally, we get complaints from many states. working states early.
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all these complex together i made -- in fact in 2012 we collected a total of 2 million consumer complaints in one year. from law enforcement -- from all these data contributors. we turned around and make those available to consumers. about half of those complaints are fraudulent, and over 1 million, a million of those complaint are fraudulent. we make those available to transit agencies, and to track and identify targets. so it's a really fabulous resource, and finally i should -- [inaudible]. it's a resource that we would love to see more transfer agencies use. because its own as lon long as e note of complaint to get and the amount of intelligence information we get. by the way, this is a some report we issued this year. images interested in the system and our complaints can go on the
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ftc's website, coming to see over 100 pages of information, talk about the kinds of complaints we receive, broken down by state and by locality. we talk about the complaint areas. fabulous resource for anyone who's interested. >> so if you or a loved one, a parent has been contacted by a fraudster or a scammed or you think something suspicious, you can go to the website and click on the button for consumer complaints and you can fill out a relatively brief form. are you seeing with respect to these millions of complaints, are you seeing any trends in the type of fraudulent activity that we're talking on this panel this morning? >> thank you for asking the. yes, we are in fact. so what we are seeing is a rip increase over the past few years and can place particularly involving jamaican companies.
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in 2007 we received only the 1000 complaints coming from individuals and others who said that it appeared to them to be the source of the combat was a located in jamaica. in 2012, that number was almost 30,000. so from about 1800 to almost 30,000 complaints in five years. huge increase. secondly, in terms of the types of complaints we see, it's interesting, almost half of the complainants are over 70. almost half. and add the 50-78 income well over half. in terms of -- [inaudible]. consumers report in 2012, $24 million in losses from jamaica. that's a drop in the bucket because many consumers don't tell us how much they lost. we, of course, do not get all of the complaints. $24 million in one year represented almost -- part of a
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total loss is huge. and finally, most of the people complain about jamaican scams are complaint about 75%, complaining about prices and loggers and things of that nature. so it really is a prize lottery related scam operation. and, finally, what we see most of these are used in a variety of water related methods. so they are wiring money or they're using green dot which is a payment card in some cases. many of them are being associate with some kind price scheme a publisher clearinghouse. has nothing to do with jamaica. we're seeing things of that nature as well. >> the consumer sentinel receives complaints about way more than just lottery fraud? >> right. this past year or so we've begun to see completes about romance scams. and more generally all kinds of goblins. about 5% of our complaint in 2012 involved a wide range of scams.
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sometimes he claimed to be a government official. sometimes the country somebody who is an eclectic but whoever it is -- [inaudible]. >> thank you. were going to come back to you in a little bit about how access in the system is made available to law enforcement and how law enforcement actually uses the comments and the conflicts that come into consumer sentinel. before we do that, i want to turn to jonathan rauch. jonathan is with the fraud section of the criminal division. is an expert on research into these types of frauds. donovan, i want to ask you about what the research that you're familiar with has shown with respect to these type of scams including romance scams. >> thank you jeff. i think one of the things that traditionally law enforcement has lacked is an understanding of how prevalent these types of consumer scams can be.
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as chuck noted a few moments ago, many times consumers don't report the types of consumer schemes in which law enforcement would be very interested, partly because embarrassment given the amount of money they may have paid out to one or multiple scams, and perhaps because they feel some sensitivity about what will happen if their adult children, others they know, learn how much they have lost. interestingly, the united kingdom last year the university issued a result of a study they have done specifically focusing on online romance scams targeting residents in the united states. according to the university study, something like 200,000 residents of the uk have actually been victimized by romance scams. when we look at the broader range, consumer scams that are going through various places around the globe, and greg
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campbells, truly just suggest, different countries there are around the world where lottery scams, sweepstakes scams, romance scams are operating from. it seems fairly clear that law enforcement, not just in the skoucher but in a growing number of countries around the world, that these types of scams, lottery sweepstakes, romance scams, are literally being targeted at a global consumer marketplace. and it's one of the issues that concerns not just u.s. law enforcement agencies like the postal inspection service, the justice department, but a growing number of investigative police and prosecution services around the world. >> has the internet made these types of scams easier and more prevalent? >> i would say in a word, yes, although we continue to see many instances where scammers are
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using traditional methods of outreach like the mail to be sending purported romantic communications or purported guarantees of lottery sweepstakes from outside the united states into the united states. there's no question, but that what we are looking at in falls a substantial exploitation of the internet. one, because it saves time and money for scammers. instead of taking the time as many scams to 10, 20 years ago to write out or even copy and mail out solicitations here now it costs you virtually nothing to spam the world, quite literally, with all kinds of fraudulent communications. and, of course, one of the great virtues that scam artists also exploit is the fact that unlike a traditional postal address or
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physical location, one has no idea and respond to an e-mail where the person who sent the e-mail literally is. and that frankly is a feature of the internet that, of course, is just part and parcel have in it operates but it can turn to the advantage of the scams is a i'm with country x. and want to establish a better relationship with you. that can be a complete lie because there's nothing on the face of that e-mail communication that tells you where the person really is. that obviously means it's more challenging for law enforcement from here and abroad to track down the true point of origin these types of lottery sweepstakes, romance scams, and actually can have a meaningful investigative outcome. >> is it fair to say the criminal division, other parts of the department of justice are working closely with law enforcement to understand how these types of frauds are going on, and getting underneath these
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anonymous addresses, or one or purported to be, you know, what are anonymous addresses where people purport to be any particular place? are the tools available for law enforcement to get underneath and? >> absolutely. it's something we work closely, by we, i mean the criminal division, civil division and multiple u.s. attorneys offices across the country work closely with the postal inspection service, the fbi, secret service, and the ftc where we do have tools that allow us to track down these types of schemes and take effective enforcement action. i think one of the keys for law enforcement's standpoint is doing what we can to ensure more timely reporting by victims. if people wait months and months or even a year or more before the report these types of schemes, it has become more difficult for us to track someone down. the sooner we know that somebody
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has sent money or is in the process of sending money, we can take immediate steps either to try to stop the money from going out, or at least have the opportunity to trace the. and because of various people talk about, these schemes have global reach and global beaches, we all need to do more to work with our foreign law enforcement officers to share information. and more and more i think we tend to recognize at the department, we can prosecute our way out of these types of consumer schemes. and one of the ways is not just more effective prevention education to working with more long for this we can collect the relevant intelligence to find out what everyone knows about these types of scams, who is behind them and so when. and i think those types of international collaborations have become increasingly important in law enforcement's efforts to combat all these
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fraud schemes we've been talking about. >> thank you to i would now like to turn to john breyault. john, you with the national consumer league. national consumers league has a website, can you describe that for us and what your organization does for the data that it collects? >> so, is the outgrowth of more than 20 years of consumer education advocacy, national consumers league has been doing to help consumers were victims of telemarketing and internet scams. is the start of an organization called the alliance against fraud. my colleague issue, she's a person who helped launch the. but the outlines brought together more than 30 stakeholders from law enforcement, from nonprofits, from the union committee, from businesses to talk about emerging issues in fraud and now it's collect we come together to
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educate consumers and work on advocacy. is an out look of that. we launched it back in the '90s in response to the growing number of consumers who were victims of telemarketing scams. and thanks to a grant from the doj and others we were able to have one of the first outlines where consumers could call in and report being victims of scam, could get counseling him what to do about that. as the internet has become the mode of choice for scammers to initially reached consumers, has become a way for consumers to come to a trusted organization and submit complaints and get education about different types of scams. with articles on site but everything is from romance scams the lottery scams the mortgage scams, telemarketing scams, you name it. there's probably an article on
9:35 am about the. we recently relaunched the site to provide -- all the information has been reorganized to make it easy and searchable for consumers to find. it's also, it's important to make sure all of our information is securable. one of the recent exist is because we are a nonprofit fraud education organization. as was mentioned by some of my other panelists, consumers are very reticent to report scams. there is embarrassed by how much they have lost were worried about what the kids are going to do. they will put them in a home. and sometimes the reason the consumers themselves can be involved in the scheme and hoping somehow to find new lease for the other scams, either consciously or through no fault of their own. so the is out there. i think the latest poll from pew, only 20% passionately 26%
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americans trust them. this is way for consumers who may not want to submit a complaint or interact with a government agency to work with those trusted in disease. we been around since 1899 to adequate a pretty great historical record to working for consumers for consumers to trust. what we do, we review them. when there's an instance where the consumer actually seems to be in imminent danger of sending money to the scam artist, we actually have a staff now direct contact them and provide direct counseling to keep them from sending the initial money or sending more money if they've already sent money. but it would also send those complaints out. we have a network would call the fraud alert system. a network of more than 90 federal, state, international law enforcement offices that leaks into complaints do. and then out of that data we
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produce reports, we look at the trend data. we were not agree to a partners at the ftc, spotting trends and help us decide what we're going to focus on in our education initiative. that's in a nutshell what we're doing at >> thank you. want to turn to craig. your h.r. prosecutor and the criminal division of the department of justice. one common method that fraudsters use to get victims to send the money is through wired transfer agencies. and you recently worked on a case involving moneygram. if you could please describe the allegations in the case and how that case was resolved. >> absolutely. i should first say that i think moneygram is an example of the kind of cooperation and collaboration we talked about, threat investigation we weren't close with the ftc. i had two tremendous postal
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inspectors from harrisburg, pennsylvania, who were lead investigator in the case. i think it's an example of when we work together and see cases that require us to work together. they are so complex. when work together we can achieve great results for consumers. but to moneygram itself, a number of analysts have mentioned already, this was a lottery scam type operation. but what these fraudsters do after they find the victim, they still need to find a way to get the victims money. they need to find a way to get that money. they can't just have -- they don't want to be a geek to even a postal address will be some way to trace them. so what we have seen, it is increasingly been using wire transfers. specifically money services like moneygram. banks tend to require more information to open the accounts, an easy way to trace the money it whereas these money services don't. for those of you who haven't
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seen, having just moneygram or western union or these other money service businesses, you basically to show up with cash. moneygram for example, it are just about every wal-mart. they are in convenience stores. there's 270,000 locations worldwide. they show up with cash, you fill out a form and then that money is available for pickup within 10 minutes. so it's fast. the fraudsters like to give you a tremendous amount of time to change your mind. and so what these fraudsters did was they realized come one, that it was relatively easy for them to corrupt some of these, some people operating these outlets, or, too, moneygram specific at the time had such poor due diligence work there doing when an agent would apply to work for them, that the fraudsters themselves were opening moneygram outlets. much of that, the fraudster can have the money, received at his alley. there's really no way to know
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him the point where the money is going. >> this happen over a number of years, and many consumers complained directly to moneygram. moneygram's fraud department was collecting this information and they started to see a trend. they saw that a certain other agents had tremendously high amounts of reported fraud. so there was no chance it was a coincidence. and did further investigation. some these agents knew what was going on. and their fraud department recommended maybe -- they be terminated. internally at the time required any termination felt to be approved by the sales department. you can see how sales and fraud might have a different idea, especially some of these outlets are making in tremendous amounts of money. and many of the very that outlets were not close. not only that, they were making so much money they were given additional outlets, and the fraud was allowed to perpetrate for many years. >> to working together with washington, with the district of
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pennsylvania, over the last five years i think at this point, the middle district of pennsylvania brought charges against 30 for moneygram agents. and just this last year we entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with moneygram. it was an agreement where moneygram admitted to criminally -- fraud. they admitted to not having the proper systems in place. more importantly perhaps they admitted, or the agreed to completely overhaul the way they were doing business in order to prevent this from happening in the future, and actually take extra steps to protect consumers. and then finally they agreed to pay $100 million which in conjunction with the postal service, we are working to get back. and so if anyone here today, anyone watching, anyone knows of
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someone who may benefit can of these schemes from 2004-2009, we set up a toll-free hotline, (877)282-2610, call that number, leader information. we're going to the process now and hopefully to return as much of this money as possible, hopefully all of it to the victims of the crime. >> thank you. inspector campbell, in addition to the day-to-day work that postal inspection service does to investigate, to disrupt and combat lottery fraud, the postal service has started a public service campaign. and then going to try and put a video here that's part of that campaign. >> jeff, as you set up i will sort of set the video up for you. it's a video about a caregiver whose mom became a victim of these types of lottery scams and she's tried to convince her
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mother not to continue to send money. >> we're going to try that in the back for a moment. okay. this video is about one minute long. then -- okay. >> i think you hate me. >> i don't hate you. so what were you going to tell the question going to tell me that you would swear you will never want? >> stand any more money out. spin and today's date is janua january 27. that's what it is, january 27. >> okay. i swear i am never going to send any more money out. >> great, that's terrific. i hope that that happens. i would love that to happen. so when you get these calls from
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jamaica, and i thought on the phone tonight, i happened to see it, and wednesday, when you see those calls, you should put the phone down. >> i'm just saying i swear i'm not going to send any more money out. i think you hate me. >> i don't hate you. >> so, inspector campbell, can you talk a little bit to us about this video and the campaign in general and what you're trying to do in terms of educating caregivers and individuals? >> yes. you know, in my 22 year history as a postal and law enforcement at the postal inspector, one of the highlights of my crew was working with jonathan rush and his team an actually taking the team of inspectors to nigeria and working with nigerian law enforcement to interdict mailings before they enter the
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united states to victimize american citizens. the other highlight of my career in over 20 years of law enforcement took place yesterday, when and our partnership with working with aarp, we have sent out a postcard men to over 25 million homes. and we didn't just randomly say 25 mailings out to just anyone. what we did is we used data from our partners here at the state on u.s. census data to look at residents that are over 70 years old. and then to look to see where their caregivers that were in the close proximity to those 70 year old individuals. and just yesterday, working with aarp, a person called that hotline and they said they were holding the card in the hand which they received in the mail this week, and they had received a call at her home from an individual from jamaica trying to get them to become a victim of lottery scams.
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and she told the person on the other end that i have discarded my hand that says this is a scam, and she hung up. that's what this is all about. we can work with as many handcuffs on people and keep doing that, but that's not going to stop the problem. what's going to help this problem is to educate, not only the elderly, individuals out there but also to educate caregivers. and when sonia came to inspection service offices, it was too late. her mom it already sent out over $92,000 we were not able to get that back. but just yesterday we kept somebody from becoming a victim, and i look at it as one person at a time but if we can help one victim at a time, that can be my mother, my grandmother come your grandmother, your grandfather. that's a lot to me. so what we are doing in the postal inspection service is we put these tablets in over 30,000 retail postal service retail outlets. we sent out over 25 million mailings to quit what we call
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the consumer alert news network in which we have in over 86 media markets that we are doing consumer awareness media alert to the consumers. and then we're working with aarp, also to attack this problem. so education is the key. and imparting with individuals that are at this table to work in conjunction to reach her caregivers and also those elderly citizens are over 70, i think it's an important effort. >> chock, from your perspective -- chuck, ma from your perspective, and that's all fantastic advice, what else, what should an elderly person or a child of an elderly person or a caregiver do if these calls start coming? and we should note that these people, the scammers, are incredibly persistent. >> so, there are a variety of things that anyone should do. first of all, if they think a
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parent or loved one is getting scanned, they should engage -- [inaudible]. do your own research on what's happening to make that research communication known to your parent, your loved one. the ftc just -- has information online about lottery scams and also about romance scams which we talked about briefly earlier. all that information is available at it lays out in very clear concise terms what the problem is, what kinds of strategies are used to try to combat it, and what the risks are if you think you're actually a victim. so again, you can get that at by the complaint getting information for yourself, or for your loved one, why not get information for your neighbor and friends? we find that particularly in some of these communities it's much more meaningful from a friend and neighbor.
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or talks to the friends in a community center or something like the. you can download information from ftc's website. indeed, if you're not downloading we will mail it to you for free. you can order the information, take it to a consumer center or a senior center and talk about and become the neighborhood expert on how to combat fraud. join us in our efforts to prevent lottery fraud and romance scams to the other thing i wonder is, as i said, -- if you believe that you benefit can come if you believe a friend or a neighbor has been a victim, please, please report to the ftc, or 877-ftc-help. you can report it to your local
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state attorney general's office. many of those reports -- [inaudible]. but take time to report it and let us know about problems. that's how we're going to deal with this issue. >> thank you. i'd like to turn to jonathan and craig from the criminal division, and working with our office at the consumer protection branch. yes, we for a number of panelists say that we can prosecute or we can't arrests ourselves out of these problems, but there are activities going on at law enforcement activities to actively prosecute people, fraudsters that are identified, is that a fair statement? >> absolutely. in the fraud section of the criminal division we've had great success in dealing with different types of advanced
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fraud schemes, even when they are based in countries like the netherlands, costa rica, where we and partners like postal inspection service build close working relationships with foreign investigators, and those relationships, heart of what makes it possible for us to have success in tracking people down, in being able to bring criminal charges. we've been able to have multiple individuals extradited from foreign countries where they thought they were safe and to be brought to the united states to stand trial for typically to plead guilty to federal criminal charges. the key here as others have already talked about is the importance of partnerships. the sooner we find out from consumers that there is a particular scam that's hurting insignificant, hurting someone they care about, the quicker that law enforcement can react to that. and the more that type of information we have, the more we can also work with law enforcement authorities in those
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jurisdictions where it appears the scams are based to work collaboratively going after these types of scams. i think wha one of the encouragg signs we've seen over the last award years is that more and more countries like nigeria, ghana, spain and other places where these types of operations are going on are not only looking to the united states to take action, what are initiate action on their own, bringing their own criminal charges and looking to us to help where we can in sharing information, providing witnesses, providing support. and having each relationship where we thought -- were we prosecuted, they prosecute there. we think i can have a meaningful impact in sending a strong message one, to the public that we are able to do in fact prosecute these cases successfully -- success would also send a strong message regards over your base, track you down, and bringing to justice. >> craig, i want to turn to you with regard to the moneygram case. moneygram, that is a preferred
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-- deferred prosecution agreement, is moneygram does not abide by that agreement, what is the result in that matter? >> i think this goes perfectly awful we were just talking about the it is important to hold these individuals, fraudsters, accountable, to arrest them, to put them behind bars. but it's also important in working with these gatekeepers, the financial institutions that they're using, that in our prosecution of them we require them, not on hold them accountable for what they did, but to help prevent these things in the future. that's exactly what we've done with deferred prosecution in moneygram. we've held them accountable. we've made a $100 billion. we've made them get rid of that agent, dual that the we've also made into a number of things forward that will prevent one of these things, and working together again with the ftc, we required moneygram to do is
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called the anti-fraud alert system. this is something where based on information theory are receding from us and other trends, they have sophisticated computer models that attempt to identify a fraudulent transaction before it is paid. for example, it is the high dollar transaction from jamaica, they will stop the system and then call the person sending it and they will say, they'll try to get vetoes on what it is. if this sounds like a fraud, they stop. and today, that has driven over $100 million in fraud. was also required moneygram, as has been mentioned, these are international crimes. and each home country has a different standard for fraud and money laundering. what we required out of out of moneygram is the applied eu standards in all 275,000 locations they have worldwide. so if you're operating now in moneygram outlet in jamaica, you have to follow u.s. fraud and money laundering standards.
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that certainly will help dealing with these things going forward. and, finally, we recognize the importance as mentioned earlier, the consumer sentinel. we've required moneygram to provide the ftc with every complaint they receive worldwide so that not only is justice department away, the ftc where, but the ftc can help law enforcement throughout the country, throughout the world be on top of these things in real time. as we discussed, that's a challenge. >> i'd like to conclude by turning it over to john breyault and the national consumers league. in the coming what is your organization doing to educate consumers question mention the hotline and contacting people. if you discuss that a little bit more. >> so, one of the things we will be working on in the coming months, years, is trying to identify ways that we can reach consumers when they are at a
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decision point. so gregory was mentioning a perfect example of somebody getting the call from the scammer while they're holding the postcard warning them about that scammer. and that is i think exactly the type of success that we would like to replicate at ncl. and i to make sure that comes to stupid one of the things we're doing to use data like this in the data, the ftc, in a way that makes it more usable to consumers. it's basically law enforcement database, 2000 agencies that are pulling data from the we want to see if there are ways we can make the data available to consumers, if not directly, innovators who can build tools on top of that so they can help warn consumers and give them feedback when they needed to help avoid being scammed. i think we're looking at ways that we might be able to use data from sentinel and other sources that are around the web,
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help build these types of tools. so for example, you have complaint boards across the internet, sites like grapevine, that are proliferating for consumers to go to mostly complaint about legitimate compass but there are quite a few that are about fraud. those are complaints we think that both law-enforcement should have but also the people who want to build tools to help consumers spot scams should have as well. in addition to that we are looking for more traditional education on have not only fraud alerts were sent out to consumers on the record basis, we see trends emerging our own data, but also having a steady stream of new content that we will make available on about new scams. becausbut because we shut down once again, another one pops up. shut down its consumer, you shut down when evan a fraud, the
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scammer's pop up somewhere else. i'm the ability to react to that faster and anymore know what i think is an important tool we are doing at >> thank you. john, john, chuck, greg and craig, you have passed along some extremely valuable information today, we appreciate your participation on the panel. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> look, the public isn't paying as much attention as i am and you are, and those of us who are part of his political committee. it is what i call the political community. it's about probably about 10 million people. it's the people that watched c-span. they watch "meet the press." they watch fox news. they watch msnbc, to a lesser extent cnn. but they really care about politics a lot. but we had what, 120,
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130 million voters, and most people thought a lot of what goes on in politics in washington and in journalism is background noise. the background noise, that comes pretty much from the mainstream media, people form an opinion of romney and obama and so one. it has -- fox news doesn't reach most of those people. fox gets great ratings. it has a loyal audience but look at the show, bill o'reilly show, the most popular one on cable news. it gets one, two, 3 million people a night. that's not the electric. this is a big country, and the conservative media only reaches a tiny chunk of it. >> more with political commentator and weekly standard executive editor fred barnes sunday night at eight on c-span's q&a.
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>> the u.s. senate continues work today on extending government funding for the remainder of this budget year, september 30. federal spending authority runs out this month on march 27. more than 50 amendments have been offered and vote on one of those is scheduled for 11:15 asian. other votes may take place during the day. harry reid says he hopes they can be finished tomorrow. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the our father in heaven, thank you for this opportunity to commune with you. inspire our lawmakers to daily create time when they can meet with you. lord, keep them from becoming discouraged by the difficulty of achieving their goals, knowing
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that you monitor their efforts and will reward their faithfulness. help us all to pause and be grateful for all the blessings we receive from you each day. may we never take for granted the blessings of life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from you. alarm us with disappointment in our souls in what we plan is less than your best. and lord, we ask you to bless francis, the new pontiff of the roman catholic church. we pray in your merciful name.
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amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding off icer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., march 14, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable heidi heitkamp, a senator from the state of north dakota, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president.
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the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will raoubg consideration of h.r. 93 p. there will be -- h.r. 933. there will be an hour of debate equally divided and controlled on the harkin amendment. at approximately 11:15 there will be a roll call vote on the harkin amendment. we'll continue to work through amendments to the bill through today's session. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. last night i filed cloture on the substitute amendment and the bill. as a result the filing deadline for all first-degree amendments is 1:00 p.m. today. madam president, i understand s. 558 is at the desk due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 558, a bill to prohibit the administrator of the environmental protection agency from awarding any grant, and so forth. mr. reid: i would object to any further proceedings with respect to this legislation. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the
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calendar. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: stph-pt. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: yesterday i asked senate democrats to put forward a thoughtful budget that americans on both parties could rally around, one that controls spending, gets our economy healthy again and advances the serious reforms necessary to make government programs more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of the americans. i asked them to please shelf the tax hikes. that's because we understand the negative effect more taxes would have on our fragile economy and the millions of americans still looking for work. it's also because we know washington democrats already got
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$600 million in taxes they demanded earlier this year. and remember, that's in addition to the more than $1 trillion they got in taxes from obamacare as well. so now it's time for the balance they promised. washington doesn't need to tax more. it needs to finally figure out how to spend less. i said these things were the least senate democrats owed the american people, given their lack of responsibility in not producing a budget for the last four years. i'm sorry to report that the plan they put forward yesterday will do none of these things. none of them. instead of getting washington spending under control, their proposed budget doubles down on the same wasteful stimulus spending we already know doesn't work. we tried that. in fact, at a time when americans believe about half of every dollar they send to washington is wasted, the democratic budget would increase spending by nearly 62%.
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their budget will do more harm to the economy than to help it. and it will let medicare and social security drift ever closer to bankruptcy. and then there's the democrats' $1.5 trillion tax hike. that's trillion with a "t." let me just repeat that. any senator who votes for that budget is voting for a $1.5 trillion tax hike, the largest tax hike in american history. so the senate democrat budget is more than just disappointing. it's extreme. extreme. it's really one of the most extreme, most left-wing budgets of the modern era. it says something, i think, about today's washington democrat. there was a time when the democratic party cared about fiscal responsibility, when democrats understood the need to be concerned about the impact their policies would have on hardworking taxpayers, a time when they would have rejected
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this budget as a joke. a joke. but those voices of reason have been mostly chased out of today's d.c. democrats. the few who remain have been sidelined and silenced throughout the budget process. even the chairman of the finance committee has been pushed aside so his fellow democrats can quickly ram through their massive tax hike. so it will be no surprise to hear that my conference opposes this left-wing manifesto masquerading as a responsible budget. and when americans get a chance to digest their budget and the one house republicans put forward earlier this week, they'll see some very clear differences between a budget that balances and one that enshrines waste and cronyism. between a budget that helps bring the economy back to health and one that kills jobs. between a budget that measures
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compassion and how many people it helps and one that counts compassion and how many hard-earned tax dollars are sent to washington for politicians to waste, between a budget that strengthens medicare and one that would put medicare even further out of reach for future generations. in short, it will see a bold reformist republican budget centered on their needs and an extreme democratic budget centered on the needs of washington bureaucrats and politicians. i hope senate democrats think again before they choose to pass such an extreme budget forward, because i think they'll find americans agree with republicans on the most important point. we need to grow the economy, not the government. now, madam president, on an entirely different matter, more
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than four decades ago, millions of people watched in awe as neil armstrong took his first steps on the moon. i remember that day still, and i'm sure many of you do. it remains one of our country's proudest moments. but not every american was able to share in the excitement. as the senior senator from arizona put it, when the momentous event occurred, i had no idea it was happening. i and several hundred comrades were otherwise engaged. that's because two years earlier, on his 23rd bombing run over vietnam, a missile hit lieutenant commander mccain's
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plane. he ejected. his body spiraling through the air until it hit water thousands of feet below. a lake right in the center of hanoi. an angry mob set upon him. they ripped off his clothes. they hit, kicked, and spat upon him. they bayoneted his ankle and his groin. the senator was left with two broken arms and a broken leg. and he passed sort of in and out of conscienceness. but he's never forgotten what came next. when vietnamese forces gathered him up and took him to the so-called hanoi hilton. as the massive steel doors clicked shut behind him, senator mccain said he felt a deeper dread than he has ever felt since. he would remain an enemy captive
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for the next five and a half years, cut off from family and friends, from even the simplest joyce of life, things you -- simplest joys of life, things you and i take for granted: the aromas of thanksgiving, the far-away thrill of cheering a home team to victory, the sounds that let us know the world around us is alive with action, with movement, with hope. john mccain never lost hope, even when he was locked in solitary confinement, and even when he was tortured. his captors poorly cast his broken arms on purpose. they broke an arm again and hung the young captive by his lifeless limbs so they could
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torture him some more. eventually vietnamese officials discovered he was the son of a high-ranking navy officer and offered him an early release. he turned their offers down. it was partly because he knew an early release would be used cynically by the communist propaganda machine. but more importantly, it was because he refused to skip the line ahead of his fellow p.o.w.'s. it's one thing -- it's one thing to talk about attributes like courage and bravery in the abstract. it's quite another to demonstrate those qualities in the most trying of circumstances. reminds me of an old saying: "the superior man is modest in his speech but exceeds in his
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actions." that kind of man -- well, that's just who john mccain is. his campaign motto in 2008 was "country first." for some politicians that might have been just a slogan, but for my colleague from arizona, i know it was authenticically and truly him. senator mccain still wears the scars of his long detention. he can't raise his arms above shoulder level. one of his legs still has not fully healed. i can only imagine the weight of memories he still must carry with him. and yet he endures, a man who has always seen his life in service, transformed from a captive of the enemy into a servant of the people.
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for more than 30 years he's represented arizona with great distinction in both the house and the senate. he's a valued member of the senate republican conference, especially when it comes to issues he cares most passionately about. defense being at the top of the list. as someone who experienced the horrors of war in the truest sense, he understands what it means to send young americans into harm's way, and he never takes those decisions lightly. but because he knows what it means to be in change, he also understands -- in chains, he also understands what it means to be free. he was able to leave his prison behind. but for millions around the world, there is no escape from suffering and despair. that's why senator mccain has always been so outspoken about his view of the responsibility we as a free people hold to help
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others secure their own liberty, whether in pyongyang, libya, did damascus, or a cause close to my heart as well -- burma. the and he has been unafraid, absolutely unafraid, to take unpopular, sometimes solitaire stands on issues when he believes in the cause. he never wavered for his support in iraq even though others said it would take a willing suspension of disbelief for the policy to succeed -- but it did. that's why when he speaks, others listen. even when they may not agree with him. senator mccain provides a unique and much-needed perspective in the senate, and we are fortunate to have him as our colleague. he certainly knows i'm grateful for his contributions. so let's take a moment today to
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mark the 40th anniversary of senator mccain's release from captivity and to thank him for his sacrifice on behalf of all of us, for enduring the unendurable, for keeping faith with his fellow p.o.w.'s, for believing in our country when others had given up hope, we honor him for his service, service that began as a plebe so many years ago and service that continues today as a member of the united states senate. we thank you, senator mccain. mr. mccain: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i'm very grateful for the kind words and sentiments expressed by my leader, senator mcconnell, and i appreciate very much his kind remarks. and on this anniversary day, i still think that the greatest honor of my life was the
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privilege of serving in the company of heroes who inspired all of us to things that otherwise we may not have been capable of. it's been a great honor for me to serve with senator mcconnell as my leader in the senate, and i appreciate on this particular day his very kind sentiments. i yield. ms. mikulski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: what a wonderful time. i'm proud to serve with you, senator mccain. it's -- you know, america has so few heroes. america needs all the heroes that we can get, and people that could identify -- not come mick book figures in weird costumes, but men and women who put themselves in harm's way or do daring and dashing things for the good of other people. and i.t. just an honor. -- and ids just an honor.
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we occasionally have our dust-up, but that's part of the fun. i want to salute you in the warmest and most sincere way. god bless you. we wish you really good health, really a good voice and occasionally a good amendment. but again it's an hadn't. and, senator, if i might speak to the republican leader, i'm so glad you did this today, because i think in the heat of trying to get a c.r. dong, we need to take a -- c.r. done, we need to take a pause, understand why we're in it together, why we should respect each other, work with each other, and take a moment or two to recall a great story about a great hero. mr. mccain: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: may i thank the senator from maryland and i can assure her that if she and i had served together in that place far away that she would have been a very, very tough and courageous resistor.
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[laughter] madam president, i think we are waiting -- oh, the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 933, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 21, h.r. 933, an act making aprongses for the department of defense and so forth and for other purposes. ms. mikulski: madam president, i have a unanimous consent request. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. ms. mikulski: madam president, i have a unanimous consent request that i understand has been cleared on both sides of the aisle. i ask unanimous consent that it now be in order for senator coburn to call up his amendment, number 66; that there be 60 minutes equally divided in the usual form for debate on the harkin and coburn amendments to
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run concurrently, and that upon the use or yielding back of time, the senate proceed to vote in relation to the harkin and coburn amendments in the order offered; that there be no amendments in order to either amendment prior to the vote; and both amendments to be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. mikulski: madam president, i note that the senator from oklahoma is on the floor. mr. coburn: madam president? the presidin ms. mikulski: madam president, i yield the floor. msfloor.cull officer. mr. coburn: i ask that the pending amendment be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: mr. coburn for himself and mr. mccain proposes amendment number 66. mr. coburn: madam president,
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this is a fairly straightforward amendment. it actually follows thified lines and the recommendations of the office of management and budget. the administration claims that during this sequestration period we will have to furlough essential government workers, which will negatively impact the daily lives of the american people. despite dire warnings to cut the t.s.a. agents -- by the way, director pistol thinks they're going to be just fine, totally opposite of what the rest of the administration has said -- air traffic controllers, food inspectors, thousands of new federal jobs postings since the sequester went into effect. and let me just spend a minute. sequester has been in effect. the department of treasury is looking to hire a leadership development specialist with a salary of $182,000 a year. the f.d.i. advertised for a social media management service
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to streamline management of mull many social media platforms, 23 openings on the federal jobs list for recreation -- recreation aide, recreation specialist, recreation assistant. the air force is looking to hire several full-time painters, searching to pay $165,000 for a directory of history museum policies and programs. the department of treasury is currently advertisings for an outreach manager. the department of labor is looking for a staff assistant at $81,000 a year to answer the phone. policy coordinator for the department of health and human services to attend and facilitate meetings at $81 240*u -- $81,000 a year. a director of the air force history and human policy and programs at $165,000 a year. an analyst for legislative
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affairs office at the marine corps at $90,000 a year. the department of agriculture director of government employee services at a range of $179,000 a year. a counsel for the morris k. udall scholarship foundation at $155,000 a year. an executive assistant at department of agriculture forest service to prepare eye continueries for travel plans. an executive staff officer senator the air force to represent the director of staff at meetings, write draft reports and memos at $193,000. all of these nonpriority hirings at a time when we're a in sequester. what this amendment would do is simply implement o.m.b.'s guidance and freeze hiring for nonessential federal positions during sequestration but still allow hiring of employees
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defined as accepted or emergency personnel by the o.m.b. if this amendment does not freeze hiring of excepted or emergency employees as defined by o.p.m. and we all know what those mean. there's also an exception that gives agencies the next flexibility in defining which types of new-hires are performing critical duties and allows their progression of the right now the agencies aren't even following o.m.b.'s guidance. we hear about possible furloughs, but a good portion of those fe furloughs would never e necessary if the agencies would follow o.m.b.'s guidance. so the government is seeking to hire travel specialists, recreation aides, public affairs specialists, outreach managers, librarians, historians, painters, administrative assistants and many other nonessential positions for where we find ourselves today.
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the department of health and human services has posted a job opening for a travel specialist at a salary of $97,000 a year and the job is to obtain domestic and international travel for h.h.s. officials. it is not essential to their overall mission and it actually facilitates more travel, which is one of the things that's also recommended by o.m.b. in their guidance is that they not do it. all we're saying is to follow the o.m.b. guidance, freezing of nonessential new hiring could prevent furloughs to the government workers that are carrying out essential services today. and mission-cricritical duties. i have no question that some of these can be helpful to the agency that they've advertised for, but they are a not necessary at this time, until we get passed this pothole in the road. canceling job openings at f.a.a.
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to two community planners and four management and program assistants would spare 1,000 air traffic controllers from furlough. let me say that again. just canceling -- not hiring -- these four people at the f.a.a. could affect 1,000 federal employees. canceling just one job opening for a librarian at the department of agriculture could offset one furlough day for as many as 750 entry-level workers at the department of agriculture. so what we're asking for is simply for the agencies to follow the guidance that's already been out there, and we would mandate that as a part of this continuing resolution omnibus appropriation bill. with that, i would yield the floor. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i rise in opposition to the coburn
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amendment. i'm not going to go into the process where we want to keep the bill as free of amendments as possible, which has been something the house has requested us to do. this is the continuing resolution. it is not the authorization legislation, and so we've baht to get this funded for the rest -- and so we've got to bet this funded for the rest of the fiscal year 2013. i want to comment about the gentleman from oklahoma. because he is he's often on to something very good. because sometimes we're so worried about clinging to party positions, we don't listen to one another. he's been a big help to me on my commerce-justice-science bill where we cover ridiculous catering things. we had a very good amendment one time where they were paying $4 for each meat ball at some reception. i mean really folly. really stupidity. and in a time where it's not whether it's big government or
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small government, but smart government, we do have to have a sense of frugality. however, i will come back to this, which is that a -- the coburn amendment would oppose a hiring freeze on all federal employees except those deemed essential. in late february, o.m.b. issued guidance instructing agencies to apply increased scrutiny to areas such as new hiring to ensure that such actions are taken only when vital to carrying out the agency's mission under the fact that they have uncertainty in terms of facing a government shutdown march 27 and the draconian sword of sequester that's already underway. this amendment would force -- the coburn amendment would force agencies really to rely on contracting out functions that the federal government should be
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handling or that more expensive to outsource simply because they're not allowed to hire necessary staff. we can debate essential, but we're not going to do that this morning. i mean, we could. i think, you tphoerbgs what is an e-- i think, you know, what is an essential federal employee? i have close to 300 employees working as federal prison guards in garrick county. they have increasingly violent prisons. we're increasingly overcrowded because of the skimpy funding we have to put into the prisons. we had a prison guard killed just a few weeks ago in our neighboring state of pennsylvania. i mean, you know, we can find in any organization, whether it is a federal agency or microsoft, there might be a position that you don't want or need. or when you hear about it, seems to have no value.
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let's take the travel specialist. i'm going to -- i'm not sitting here with a manual of all the civil service jobs. but here's what i think a travel specialist does. the department of h.h.s. has to travel. whether it's c.d.c., whether it's n.i.h., they're involved with other agencies in other parts of the country. they're involved with counterparts in other parts of the world. they have to get the best deal when they travel. how many of us, when we've tried to book an airline, when booking an airline is like commodity trading. one minute it's this, one minute it's that. if you call delta, maybe american is going their way but they only land at 7:17 when you've got to be there at 12:14. and you're on there really like a commodity trader. should sebelius be doing that on
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her own? i don't think so. should the head of c.d.c. be doing that? no. they need a travel specialist who knows how to work it, and maybe in the long run safe travel. i support one of the directions that the senator is going in where he told me something i didn't know, where some of these v.a. international conferences take over 50 people, for which i don't know what more than 50 people would do. so he's on the right track on many things. but i think we have to be very careful when we're dealing with the entire civil service, millions of people -- two million people who work for the federal government and put a freeze on them. some federal agencies have had a hiring freeze for some time, and among them the department of defense is already under a civilian hiring freeze. so it's important to recognize that a hiring freeze would only have limited savings. a hiring freeze does not solve
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these problems, and it's just one more blow to a battered civil service. remember, we've had civil service pay freezes in effect, so we have now frozen their pay for several years. we're going to -- they're facing increased cost in their pension program. and now they're going to face furlough. and then we're going to tell them we don't think a lot of you are essential. i come back to what i said a few days ago. if you're going to have a democratic government, you need to have an independent civil service. you might not like all of what they do. you might not like every position that is in an agency. but you need a civil service that goes beyond parties, goes beyond administration, that achieves their job based on educational qualification, a
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skill set, that it is meritocracy based, and that we then focus on making sure that we have the best civil service in the world, that we can point to what a real civil service is, that we can encourage new emerging democracies to be able to follow our lead. so i would hope we would not do the coburn amendment. i hope that if we're going to talk about the size of the government, we should do that next week on the budget bill. mr. president, i yield the floor mr. coburn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: first of all, let me -- i am so excited with the chairman and ranking member of the appropriation committee. i have to say since i've been in the senate, i found these two individuals more than capable to work with and more than willing
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to work with me. and i want to congratulate them on bringing their bill to the floor. but i have to very adamantly disagree because i think the chairman of the committee has missed my point. every american family the last five years has been making tough decisions about priorities. and by not hiring some of these, what most americans -- you know, a wall can get painted six months later. it doesn't have to be painted today. as a matter of fact, if you go over to all the senate office buildings, you see the architect of the capitol repainting all the walls with wet signs out there while we can't let visitors into our building. there's something wrong with us in the way we're managing. we're painting walls that don't have to be painted. at the same time we make citizens wait an an and a half to get into our buildings. there's something wrong with our
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priorities. if we don't handle these superfluous positions that are not necessary now, many federal employees won't get furloughed. that's the point i'm making. and i just can't believe that we have to have a research librarian right now at the air force at a time when we don't have the money to put our pilots in the air to keep them trained. so we're not talking about essential employees. and, by the way, essential and excepted employees are prison guards. there isn't going to be one of them furloughed. what we're talking about is if you really care about federal employees, you do not want to spend money on employees that are truly not necessary right now at this time given a priority so that the rest of the federal workforce can be there. let me go back through this list again. is it really important that we hire a lawyer for the morris k.
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udall scholarship foundation at a range of $155,000 right now? is that important? how many people in the federal government would that keep from being furloughed and the services continued if we don't hire him? how about an executive assistant to the department of agriculture forest service to prepare itineraryies, briefings and other packages at $57,000? what we don't get is all the rest of america is doing this already. and now that o.m.b. has recommended we do it and the agencies won't do it. we ought to tell them to do it. for the benefit of the federal employees that are working for us right now, because they are the ones that are going to get furloughed. and by not hiring these absolutely -- i don't doubt that there are positions that we could use and are effective in many areas. but they're not a priority right now. i would think a priority right
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now would be having the people that we have employed working. how about a leadership development specialist at treasury? that really a priority right now at $182,000 a year? that's a priority rather than laying off i.r.s. employees so you get your refund back? tell me which one is more important. i would think the american taxpayers would rather get an answer when they call i.r.s. rather than a busy signal versus us hiring a leadership development specialist. there are 23 openings related to recreation at the f.d.a. right now. 23 for recreation? that really a priority for us right now? you know, we're out here, we have a 60-vote limit on this, and i'm fine with that. 60-vote. but america's going to vote 80% or 90% with what i'm
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recommending here, and we have a 60-vote there so we can make sure it doesn't happen. so we don't apply priorities, so we don't apply common sense. and everybody knows that if this was at a 50-vote margin it would fly through here. the reason it's 60 so we can protect people politically and not do the best right thing for america. this bill's going to go through here. we're going to pass it. the government ain't going to be shut down. we're going to conference it and get it worked out. senator shelby and senator mikulski will get that job done. we have absolute confidence in them. but this isn't a deal killer. this is common sense. this is what every business, every family in america is doing right now. they don't spend money they don't have on things that aren't absolutely necessary. and that's all this amendment does. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: who yields time? mr. coburn: i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. harkin: mr. president in. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: i see the senate is not in a quorum call. i have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's -- the presiding officer: national is in a quorum call. ohmr. harkin: oh, the lights are
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broken, mr. president. i am sear. i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispense w officer without objection. mr. harkin: i have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate the apule of the majority and minority leaders. i ask that these requests be agreed to and printed in the record. officer if without objection, so ordered. mr. harkin: i ask consent that i be allowed to speak for up to five minutes. stir if without objection, so ordered. mr. harkin: the first amendment up for vote today will be on amendment that i laid down yesterday on the labor-h.h.s. part of this so-called continuing resolution. as pointed out yesterday that the amount of money that i'm dealing with in my amendment is exactly what's in the c.r. there's no additional money that's in there, but you have to understand that whoever negotiated this package kept
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labor-h.h.s. and all that in a c.r. rather than in a bill form. now, interestingly enough, in the package before us, defense -- defense -- gets a full-length appropriations bill. so does homeland security. it gets a full-length appropriations bill. agriculture gets a full-length appropriations bill. military construction gets a full-length appropriations bill. commerce, justice, science gets a full bill. but not labor, health, human services, education, and related agencies. interesting, isn't it? interesting. that the one bill that speaks to educating our young, making sure that working families have adequate child-care protection, increasing our medical research at n.i.h., protecting food safety and drug safety through the cente center for disease col and prevention, that has to be on an auto pilot from last year and the year before.
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so my amendment costs exactly what's in the underlying c.r. what's in this agreement -- what's in this agreement -- or what's in my amendment was agreed upon by the house democrats and house republicans, senate republicans, senate democrats in our negotiations last december. i mean the committee, the appropriations committee. there's a lot of talk about being bipartisan around here. well, mr. president, we engaged in bipartisan negotiations last fall, took us months, and we reefed an agreement in december. that's bipartisan work. and now my amendment mirrors exactly what that agreement was. you know, i'm told now that all the republicans are going to vote "no." why? why, i ask. individuals with disabilities education act, your honor the c.r. that's here, no increase. under my amendment, $125 million
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increase. title i for poor kids in school -- $107 million increase in my amendment, no increase in the underlying bill. n.i.h. in the underlying bill they get a $1 million increase, under my amendment, a $211 million increase. child care, underlying bill, d 50 million. my amendment, 10 million. aids drugs, increase in the underlying bill. $29 million in my bill. those are just some of the things that we hammered out in tough negotiations by last december. now, i know that the senator from alabama has said, well, there were some open items we didn't include. no, of course i didn't include open items because they weren't agreed to. what i have in my amendment is what we agreed to. what we agreed to. with one exception. i said yesterday there's no additional funding for health care reform, which the republicans were objecting to. it's not in my amendment and
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still they're objecting. republicans say this amendment will kill the whole package. i have to ask, why? why? funding these and keeping within the same dollar level as in the underlying bill, why does this kill the bill? chairman rogers, republican on the house side, helped negotiate these numbers last december. now, i've heard a lot of talk on both sides of the aisle about how much they support n.i.h. how much they support biomedical research. well, i say to my republican friends, here's the time to prove it. here's where you can prove it. $211 million versus $71 million, and there's no cas increase in y amendment in the underlying bill at all but because we did a bill rather than c.r., wok move numbers around a little bit. so i want to know where are the champions of n.i.h., where are they?
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when you have the chance to vote on it and not increase spending one single dime. i would point out, mr. president, a number of medical groups and research groups have endorsed this amendment. the american cancer society, the american dental association, the american diabetes association, the american heart association, the association of american medical colleges, bio, parkinson's action network -- almost 300 patient around advocacy groups, scientific societies support this amendment. i ask unanimous consent that a list of those be printed at this point in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senator's time has expired. mr. harkin: i ask for two additional minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. harkin: mr. president, again i say, why would this amendment kill the bill? it was agreed to by the chairman of the house appropriations
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committee, a distinguished chairman, chairman rogers, last december. this is what we gree agreed to t here. and why is it that the one bill in appropriations that speaks to the human needs of our country, the educational needs of our kids, the scientific and research needs that we need for addressing some of our chronic ill unless in this country, why is that singled out? why is that singled out that it cannot have a full-standing bill but must be in the continuing resolution at the same level, on auto pilot, just as last year? i submit, mr. president, that we can make these decisions. we can decide that we're going to do these kinds of increases keeping within the same dollar levels as we have in the
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underlying bill. and i tell you, i don't believe this will kill the bill. but i believe those who don't want these increases, who don't want to see an increase in n.i.h., they will hold this up and say, yes, it will kill the bill, as an idle threat -- that's what it is. it is simply an idle threat. it's time. this is the third year now where they have put these programs on auto pilot. i dare say, mr. president, if we don't do this, this will be the last -- we have seen the last of the labor-h.h.s. appropriations bill ever passed in this body or the other body, until some -- i don't know how many years in the future it will still be on auto pilot. now is the tile to step up, break -- now is the time to break up, break that trend of just putting this on autopilot
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every year. now is the time to make these decisions. i hope the champions of n.i.h., who say they're champions of n.i.h., i hope they'll step up an support this amendment. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on amendment number 53 offered by the senator from iowa, mr. harkin. mr. shelby: could i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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